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Rheumatology Care in Under-Resourced Areas Utilizing the ECHO Model

Author

Bankhurst A1, Olivas C2, Larson JH3, Bradford A1, Fields R4, Kalishman S1, Marquez M1, Gonzales Van Horn S1, Swift R1, Rochelle R1, Jones J1, Burke T1, Snead J1, Arora S1. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2019 Mar 30. doi: 10.1002/acr.23889. [Epub ahead of print]

Author Information

1 University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Project ECHO, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.

2 University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Project ECHO, MSC07 4245, 1 University of NM, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.

3 University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Project ECHO, 1650 University Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.

4 University of New Mexico, Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Albuquerque, 87131, New Mexico, United States.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: 

Demonstrate the effectiveness of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) in educating primary care clinicians (PCCs) to provide best practice rheumatology care to patients in under-resourced communities in New Mexico (NM).

METHODS: 

Attendee data for weekly teleECHO sessions, lectures, grand rounds, and mini-residency trainings were evaluated from June 2006 to June 2014. Participant feedback was evaluated from January 2009 to December 2014, when the program was approved for continuing medical education (CME) credits. Retrospective review of diagnoses associated with case presentations was conducted from June 2006 to June 2014, to evaluate the types of cases presented. A focus group was conducted with a convenience sample of eight NM PCCs who participated in ECHO Rheumatology (ECHO Rheum) for one year or longer.

RESULTS: 

Over the course of nine years, ECHO Rheum educated 2,230 clinicians, consisting primarily of physicians (53%) and nurse practitioners (22%). A total of 1,958 continuing medical education credits were awarded to those who participated. There were 1,173 cases presented; 85% of the cases reflected the three most common diagnoses: